The Kiwoom Heroes coasted to an 8-1 victory over the Lotte Giants on Sunday, stopping the Giants from getting a sweep in the three-game series. The win saw an early rally put the Heroes ahead by five, allowing the team to coast for the rest of the game.

Crowds, Albeit Small, Are Back

Sunday was the first day of the season which saw a live audience at KBO games, as a small crowd was accepted into the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea. The heavily spaced out crowd left the majority of the seats in the stadium vacant.

For the first time this year, cheers and chants done by the MC and cheerleaders at KBO games were met with claps. A small, spaced out amount, but an audible change nonetheless. The rules around current COVID-19 etiquette at the stadium prevented fans from belting out their team’s chant songs for now.

Heroes Get Five Off of Seo

The first inning was a troubling one for Giants starter Seo Jun-won, who gave up five runs in the time period.

Park Byung-ho brought home the first run, getting a hit that scored Kim Hye-sung. The second run came off the bat of Park Dong-won, although a call at third jeopardized the play.

The rally was threatened early on, as a supposed third out against Park Byung-ho at third base was called. After the umpires deliberated about the puzzling play on third base, it was decided he was in fact safe, validating the run scored in the play and continuing the inning.

The runs continued, with Jeon Byung-woo bringing home two and Park Joo-hong bringing in a final to make the game 5-0. To finish the batting order within the inning, ninth-slot batter Park Joon-tae grounded out.

Starter Seo didn’t give up any more runs for the rest of his performance, although he was given the hook early, being replaced in the fourth inning.

Heroes Add Extra Runs Later

More runs came later in the game for the Heroes, including a hit from Park in the fifth, who scored the first run for of the game for the Heroes earlier. In the seventh, he picked up his third RBI of the game with another hit. Kim ha-seong added to the tally in the eighth off of a fielder’s choice play.

While the Giants lost, they avoided a shutout on the scoreboard after An Chi-hong took home Dixon Machado in the sixth inning.

The Heroes had a large cast of pitchers appearing, as starter Kim Jae-woong only played two-and-a-third innings before being taken out. The game was the first starting pitcher appearance for Kim in the KBO. Coming in after him was Yang Hyun, who was given his fifth win of the season for the innings he pitched.

Giants To Head Back Home

The game saw the Heroes finish their week on a good note, after three losses and two cancelled games made for a rough week for the team before. The team will start their next week of play against the Doosan Bears, moving on to a weekend series versus the Samsung Lions after.

With their long road trip complete, the Giants will head back home on Tuesday to open a series against the NC Dinos. Staying at home, the team will play the Kia Tigers after.

Around The KBO

After numerous momentum shifts, the KT Wiz took the lead for the last time in the eighth over the NC Dinos after a single from Jang Sung-woo scored two runs, making the game 5-4.

A high scoring game saw the Kia Tigers complete a series sweep, defeating the Samsung Lions 8-5.

Hits from Yoo Kang-nam and Jung Ju-hyeon gave the LG Twins the lead over the Doosan Bears, winning 4-3.

After being down for many innings, a five-run rally in the seventh from the SK Wyverns allowed them to defeat the Hanhwa Eagles 7-4. The team swept the last-place KBO team with the win.